The American Western Weekend

RFD-TV presents The American

Photo by Michael Clark

The American Western Weekend features action-packed entertainment, world-class talent, and western sports that culminates with The American Rodeo. The national sporting event offers fans a unique choice - to cheer on western sports’ finest, champion athletes, or root for the underdog “Contenders” chasing a $1 million bonus – through every rodeo, roping, and riding effort.

Added to the festival line-up in 2023, The American Performance Horseman brings together the western equine sports disciplines of reining, reined cow horse and cutting for a $1 million prize.

Photo courtesy of African American Museum

African American Museum presents Texas Black Invitational Rodeo

African American Museum will present the annual Texas Black Invitational Rodeo, featuring hundreds of African American cowboys and cowgirls competing for $25,000 in cash prizes in bronc and bull riding, calf and steer roping, barrel racing, and a Pony Express relay race, plus on-field kids activities, trick lasso performances, concessions, music, and more.

Kicking off with the Grand Entry Parade, this fast-paced evening also provides guests with a glimpse of the historical contributions that African Americans made in settling the western United States. Dr. Robert Ashley will serve as grand marshal.

Photo courtesy of the City of Mesquite

Rodeos, racing, and a roster of fun festivals await in Mesquite

Hit the Road

Declared the Official Rodeo Capital of Texas in 1993, Mesquite is where real, authentic Texas culture thrives.

Whether you spend a day or a weekend in this city — which sits only 15 minutes east of downtown Dallas — you're bound to experience several moments of cowboy cool. But Mesquite has other surprises, including plenty of culture, nature, and other family fun.

Here's a glance at some of the most exciting things to do in Mesquite:

Of course we have to start with the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, which happens every Saturday June through August each year at Mesquite Arena. Now in its 66th season, the event attracts top-ranked cowboys and riders and provides an air-conditioned (important!) and entertaining escape for locals and visitors alike.

Equally assured to get your heart racing is a visit to Devil's Bowl Speedway, hailed as the Southwest's most famous dirt track. Take your pick from the weekly championship series or special events spaced throughout the year — either way, there's not a bad seat in the venue thanks to the track's unique D-shape.

Celebration Station offers an experience that's fun for the whole family, with go-karts, arcade games, laser tag, mini golf, and more. The local amusement park is a must for birthday parties, and is the perfect place to cool off during summer thanks to the splashy bumper boats.

Xcape Adventures is another excellent family activity, where you work together to solve clues and escape rooms with fun themes.

Rather head outside with the fam? DeBusk Park features two playgrounds, including the renovated KidsQuest play structure. It includes ADA accessibility, swings, tall slides, room to run, climbing features, and a unique environment that fosters creative play.

In addition to the updated playground, the park has a baseball field, open playing field, two large picnic pavilions with tables, and a pet-friendly trail that is over a mile long for walking, jogging, and biking. Debusk Park is also home to one of Mesquite's three disc golf courses.

If you're looking for somewhere to work on your traditional golf game, Mesquite Golf Club is the place. It is a municipal course that was built in the 1960s by Leon Howard and originally opened as a 9-hole course, but expanded to 18 holes two years later. A massive renovation project in 2013 helped it become a joy for every skill level.

You can also enjoy nature without, well, really having to do anything. Stroll the Paschall Park Butterfly Trail to admire native trees, plants, and wildflowers, plus the big Monarch butterfly migrations in April and October.

At the Mesquite Arts Center, live performance fans can get their culture fix thanks to the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra and Mesquite Community Theatre. During the summer, the free Courtyard Concert Series showcases local bands.

Travel back in time to 1874, a year after Mesquite was first established as a depot town, when Stephen Decatur Lawrence began building his Texas prairie-style home and barn. Today the property survives as the Opal Lawrence Historical Park (for the daughter who left it to Mesquite in her will) and is a glimpse into what life was like nearly 150 years ago.

No matter what time of year you choose to visit, there's bound to be a festival or fun event happening.

Start the year with the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, Daddy-Daughter Dance, Hip Hop Cowboys Spring Rodeo, and the annual Texas Fly Fishing and Brew Festival, held the last weekend in February.

Ease into spring with the Rodeo Parade, Bunny Bash, KidFish, and Downtown Farmers Market, which happens each Saturday from April through November.

Welcome summer with Movies in the Park, a free Cinco de Mayo celebration, Doggie Splash Day, the Rodeo Road Rally Bike Ride, and Dive-In Movies at City Lake Aquatic Center.

Come fall, lace up for the Guts and Gory Zombie Run, plus Heritage Fall Rodeo, Day of the Dead Festival, Veterans Day event, and Pumpkinfest, the city's annual fall festival.

Close out the year with a plethora of Christmas-themed celebrations, which include Christmas in the Park, Christmas at the Ranch, and Carols and Cocoa.

More than 1,300 hotel rooms means that you'll be relaxing in comfort during your stay in Mesquite.

Find more to do, see, and eat in Mesquite here.

Mesquite cowboy parade

Photo courtesy of the City of Mesquite

Welcome to the Official Rodeo Capital of Texas.

Photo courtesy of Bandera CVB

Spring into summer with concerts, cowboys, and more in Bandera


If you're looking for a getaway that's not too far from home, take a look at the Cowboy Capital of the World: Bandera.

Located about four hours west of Houston, just northwest of San Antonio, Bandera is loaded with Texas’ signature charm and has something for everyone in the family.

This Hill Country town is also your live music destination for spring. Here's a look at what’s coming up over the next few months to help plan your future trip.

Music for all
The can’t-miss headlining acts at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar have Charlie Robison of "My Home Town" fame performing on April 14, and a full line-up every weekend thereafter:

  • April 21 – Wade Bowen
  • April 28 – Josh Ward
  • April 29 – Neal McCoy
  • May 12 – Diamond Rio
  • May 13 – Michael Martin Murphey
  • May 19 – Joshua Ray Walker
  • May 20 – Marty Haggard
  • June 9 – Lorrie Morgan
  • June 10 – Junior Brown
On Memorial Day weekend, help Arkey celebrate the 55th anniversary of his Arkey Blue's Silver Dollar Bar.

25th Annual Riverfest
Join in on the family fun April 29 for the 25th anniversary of Bandera Riverfest, happening from 10 am-6 pm.

The International Barbecue Cookers Association (IBCA) will be there hosting its top-tier barbecue cook-off, plus there will be a “land yacht” golf cart competition, plenty of live music, arts and crafts, kids' activities, and more.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Enjoy nature's wonders
If you’re looking for a way to tire out the kids, head to the nearby Hill Country State Natural Area for 5,400 acres of camping, horseback riding, backpacking, fishing, and more.

Gaze at dreamy, starlit skies and open spaces with miles upon miles of trails for cycling and hiking. The park is the perfect place to escape from the stress of modern living and relax into the arms of Mother Nature.

Local events
Other fun events around town include the weekly Cowboys on Main on Saturdays from 10 am-2 pm. Visitors and locals can hop aboard wagon rides and take photos with Redneck the longhorn, and also watch 1800 reenactment gun shows at 11 am and 1 pm.

Fiesta Market Days at the Pipe Creek Dancehall on April 15-16 feature live music, offerings from local vendors, food, and fun for the whole family.

And don't forget about the Bandera Pro Rodeo on Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28. Stake out a good spot for the parade, which begins at 11 am on March 27.

Cowboys on Main

Photo courtesy of Bandera CVB

Cowboys on Main happens on Saturdays.

Tickets for the Rodeo are $12 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-12, and free for children aged 5 and under.

To start planning your getaway, visit banderacowboycapital.com.

Photo by Jerry McClure

These are the 13 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

Weekend event planner

It's another big weekend across Dallas, with something to offer everyone. Choices include a circus, a big rodeo competition, four concerts, four theater productions, two well-known comedians, and the annual St. Patrick's Day parade.

Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, March 9

Garden Bros. Nuclear Circus
The Garden Bros. Nuclear Circus features special effects, concert-style lighting, the Human Cannonball, Wheel of Death, motorcycles in the Sphere of Fear, Human Slingshot, comedy, girls hanging by their hair, the Olate Performing Dogs, Cossack Riders, and more. Guests can come early and meet the circus stars, get their faces painted, ride the Monster Slide or play on a moon bounce, eat snacks, and more. The circus will be at Fair Park through March 19.

The American Western Weekend
The American Western Weekend is a one-of kind celebration of the sports and spirit of the American West, featuring rodeo's greatest athletes in the ultimate high-stakes showdown. The event, taking place through Saturday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, will also feature post-event concerts by big-name artists, including Maren Morris, Sheryl Crow, Darius Rucker, and Cody Johnson.

Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros in concert
Bobby Weir was a founding member of one of the most iconic bands of all times, the Grateful Dead. After the dissolution of that band in 1995 following the death of Jerry Garcia, Weir has continued playing with a variety of bands, including Dead & Company and the Wolf Bros. The latter, which plays Grateful Dead songs and other roots rock music, will play at Majestic Theatre.

Pegasus Theatre presents Mind Over Murder!
Who murdered famed magician Marko the Magnificent? Could it have been his manager? Or his wife? Perhaps his assistant. All of the suspects and more are gathered at the mansion that was Marko’s home on the one-year anniversary of his death while performing the death-defying "bullet catch" for the reading of his will. Can Harry Hunsacker solve this crime before it’s too late? The real trick will be if he can. The production will run through March 25 at Bath House Cultural Center.

Friday, March 10

Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents "Kings of Soul"
With Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik at the helm, "Kings of Soul" shines a spotlight on the music of legendary artists Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Otis Redding, The Temptations, Al Green, Barry White, Smokey Robinson, and Curtis Mayfield in an evening of soulful rhythms and melodies. Featuring soloists Darren Lorenzo, Chester Gregory, and Michael Lynche, the program will include songs like "Soul Man," "Try a Little Tenderness," "Stand By Me," and more. There will be three performances through Sunday at Meyerson Symphony Center.

Mainstage Irving - Las Colinas presents Intimate Apparel
Set in 1905 in New York, Intimate Apparel tells the story of Esther, an African-American woman who makes her living sewing beautiful corsets and ladies’ undergarments. Seeking love and romance, Esther eventually embarks on a letter-writing relationship with a mysterious suitor laboring on the Panama Canal. But when he moves to New York and their marriage begins to take an unhappy turn, Esther realizes that only her self-reliance and certainty of her own worth will see her through life’s challenges. The production runs through March 25 at Irving Arts Center.

Improv Addison presents Jay Pharoah
Jay Pharoah is an actor and stand-up comedian who is best known for his wide array of uncanny celebrity impressions, including President Barack Obama, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Stephen A. Smith, Kanye West, and Chris Tucker, all of which he showcased during his stint on Saturday Night Live. He'll perform five times through Sunday at Improv Addison.

North Texas Performing Arts Repertory Theatre presents Evita
Set in Argentina between 1934-1952, the Tony Award-winning Evita follows Eva Duarte on her journey from poor illegitimate child to ambitious actress to, as wife of military leader turned president Juan Peron, the most powerful woman in Latin America. The production, featuring songs like “Buenos Aires” and "Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” runs through March 19 at Willow Bend Center of the Arts in Plano.

SZA in concert
The latest and greatest thing in R&B is unquestionably SZA, who's taken that genre and the music world by storm since her major label debut in 2017. She first made her name collaborating with major acts like Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, and Travis Scott, and now with her latest album, SOS, she's hit even higher heights, going to No. 1 with both the album and the single "Kill Bill." She'll perform at American Airlines Center.

AT&T Performing Arts Center presents Menopause the Musical
In Menopause the Musical, four women at a lingerie sale have nothing in common but a black lace bra and memory loss, hot flashes, night sweats, not enough sex, too much sex, and more. The musical parody, set to classic tunes from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, will have three performances through Saturday at Wyly Theatre.

Saturday, March 11

Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival
With St. Patrick's Day falling on a Friday this year, the annual Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade & Festival will kick off the celebration about a week early. Starting at Greenville Avenue and Blackwell Street and ending at Yale Blvd. and Central Expressway, the parade draws upwards of 125,000 people along the two-mile route to see more than 90 floats, bands and more.

Jerry Seinfeld in concert
At 68, Jerry Seinfeld remains one of America’s premier comedians due to his uncanny ability to joke about the little things in life that relate to audiences everywhere. Best known for his eponymous 1990s sitcom, Seinfeld has not rested on his laurels, continuing to perform in comedy clubs in New York City and on tour. He'll put on two performances at Winspear Opera House on Saturday.

Sunday, March 12

Future and Friends - One Big Party Tour
A handful of rappers could claim to be the best in the world right now, but Future has as good an argument as any of them. His last seven albums, including 2022's I Never Liked You, have gone to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, R&B/Hip Hop, and Rap charts, a feat accomplished by few others. He'll bring his One Big Party Tour to American Airlines Center, where he'll perform with some of his famous friends, including Mariah the Scientist, G Herbo, Don Toliver, and Dess Dior.

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2013
Photo by Jerry McClure

The annual Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival will take place along Greenville Avenue on March 11.

Getty Images

'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he now lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

New H-E-B stores in DFW top this week's 5 hottest Dallas headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that listhere.

1. H-E-B continues Dallas expansion with 3 new supermarkets in the suburbs. Texas supermarket chain H-E-B continues its Dallas-Fort Worth expansion, with three new stores in the works. The retailer is opening stores in Melissa, Prosper, and Rockwall. This comes just as the chain opens a new store in Allen.

2. Country's largest hot springs pool complex coming to Grandscape in The Colony. The newest attraction headed to Grandscape in The Colony is a wellness spa-amusement park: WorldSprings, a nine-acre outdoor mineral springs experience, will debut in spring 2024.

3. Award-winning Mexican restaurant hits the jackpot at new location in Denton. A DFW restaurant that's earned national acclaim has opened in Denton: El Rincón del Maiz, previously of Garland, is now located at 1431 E. McKinney St. in Denton where it's winning over locals with its Tex-Mex classics and vegan dishes.

4. New burger joint in McKinney with chef toppers and full bar is a sizzler. McKinney has a new burger joint that is already lighting up the Collin County foodie scene. Called Loyo Burger, it's part of the Local Yocal empire, and is newly opened in downtown McKinney at 216 W. Virginia St. #102.

5. Pickleball-restaurant with chef-level food paddles into Farmers Branch. A new pickleball concept is paddling into Farmers Branch: Called At Fault, it's a pickleball-restaurant facility, opening its first DFW location at 2330 Jett St., in spring 2024.

Where to drink in Dallas right now: 5 best new happy hours

Where to Drink

Maybe because it's fall or maybe because we're just lucky, but it's an especially rich time right now for happy hour offerings, with five spots that have either just debuted new happy hours (or are about to debut). There's a chef take at a restaurant-bar on Greenville Avenue; a fun music bar in Bishop Arts; a chance to sneak into a upscale steakhouse in a Dallas high-rise; and a restaurant-bar overlooking a tranquil golf course in Frisco.

Here's five hot new happy hours for our latest installment of Where to Drink:

Quarter Acre
Greenville Avenue restaurant has a new “Garden Hour” happy hour program Tuesday-Friday from 5-6:30 pm on the patio or at the bar, featuring snacks, three for $11, such as the Watermelon Bite, Crispy Pork Belly with avocado whip and sour lime, Half Shell Oyster with kiwi bubbles and rosé mignonette, and Mushroom Croquette with goat cheese. Select cocktails are $8 including the Front Deck Spritz with Aperol, passionfruit, and bubbles; and Bumble Bee’s Knees with Ford’s Gin, honey, and lemon. Three bottles of wine are $40: Pierre Sparr “Brut” Cremant d’Alsace, Mahua Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2022, or Black Cottage Pinot Noir, Marlborough 2021.

Revelers Hall
New Orleans-style bar in Bishop Arts has a new summer happy hour Monday-Friday from 4-7 pm, with good deals: half-price food, $6 wines, $5 well drinks, and $4 beers. They also have live music daily, featuring a variety of genres including jazz, bebop, Cumbia, and Latin jazz. Plus indoor and outdoor seating, and now is the time of year for that.

Ryder Cup Grille
Restaurant-bar at the Omni PGA Frisco Resort — one of 13 restaurants and bars at the resort — has a new happy hour with postcard-worthy views overlooking the Fields Ranch golf courses. It's an early one, running Monday-Friday from 2-5 pm and includes some domestic beers for $6, house wines for $10, and Ranch Water for $13. Food specials include Parmesan fries ($7), a guacamole and salsa flight ($9), chicken tenders with Buffalo sauce, Deep Ellum blue cheese dressing, and ranch ($11), nachos with brisket and refried beans ($12), and Cobb salad ($12).

SER Steak & Spirits
Steakhouse on the 27th floor of the Hilton Anatole has a Social Hour Tuesday-Thursday from 5-6:30 pm with $10 cocktails, $10 wines by the glass. A new bar menu features oysters, beef tartare, and gochujang chicken, priced from $9 to $23. They also have two new cocktails: Fall Berry Bush with tequila, Chambord, lime, rosemary, and sage; and a boozy lemonade with vodka, lavender, dill, lemon juice, and soda water.

Whiskey Cake
A new $7 Social Hour begins September 26, and runs Monday-Friday 3-6 pm with cocktails like the Old Fashioned, Margarita, Daiquiri, and a CYOM (create your own martini) with vodka or gin, clean or dirty, wet or dry, shaken or stirred, with a twist of lemon or olives, all for $7. House wines are also $7 and beers are $5. A menu of bar bites includes Wagyu corn dogs, BBQ spiced pork rinds, and blue cheese kettle chips.

Famous doner kebab restaurant makes Dallas debut with location in Frisco

Kebab News

A big name in doner kebabs is coming to Dallas-Fort Worth: German Doner Kebab, famous for pioneering gourmet doner kebabs in the UK and worldwide, will open its first location in Frisco, at 12025 E. University Dr. #100.

According to a release, it'll open on September 25, with seating for 77, making it the brand’s largest North American restaurant in terms of capacity.

Doner kebabs are a street food, centered on meat cooked on a rotating vertical spit. The name comes from two Turkish words: 'Doner' meaning rotate, and 'Kebap' meaning grilled meat. It's similar to a gyro, but döner meat is made from lamb or pork, while gyros are lamb or chicken.

German Doner Kebab, abbreviated GDK, is known for its distinctive waffle bread, in which the pita-like bread is imprinted with a waffle pattern. The company opened its first restaurant in Berlin in 1989 and is headquartered in Scotland. There are now 100-plus locations across UK, Europe, and the Middle East.

They made their U.S. debut in 2021 and have locations in New Jersey, Astoria, Queens, New York, and Sugar Land, Texas, outside Houston, which opened in 2022.

Their menu features doner kebabs made with toasted waffle bread, halal meat, vegetables, and signature sauces. GDK locations have an open kitchen so you can see the food being prepared to order.

In addition to the waffle bread, you can get the doner as a wrap, a panini, or in quesadilla form. Other items include a burger topped with Doritos and cheese sauce - like chips & salsa on top of doner meat, but all inside a bun; a black bean veggie burger; spring rolls; jalapeno poppers; and fries in a quartet of options including cheese fries, flaming fries, and curry fries.

“Many Americans are familiar with gyro, shawarma, and shish kebabs, however our ‘doner kebabs’ will be a new experience in both taste and format to most," says GDK North America managing director Nigel Belton in a statement.